Agencies Sitting Out Emmy Parties Amid WGA-ATA Fight

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CAA, WME, UTA, ICM Partners and Paradigm are not holding their customary annual bashes this year.

The Emmy party calendar will be a little less packed next month.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that CAA, WME, UTA, ICM Partners and Paradigm are not throwing their customary pre-awards bashes this year.

The decisions come amid a protracted four-months-and-counting fight between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents, of which the above-named firms are all members. As their longtime franchise agreement expired in April and the two entities failed to come to a new deal, more than 7,000 writers severed their business relationships with their agents.

What's more, the WGA is suing CAA, WME, UTA and ICM for breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and unfair competition as a result of alleged conflicts of interest over the practice of taking packaging fees. Meanwhile, CAA, WME and UTA each have filed antitrust suits against the guild.

With writers among the Emmy-nominated ranks and holding particular weight in television, agencies would be in the awkward position of choosing to essentially throw a party for an estranged ex, or selectively ignore some of the most influential players in the TV-making process. They opted for a similarly low-key presence at the upfronts in April.

The agencies have previously canceled pre-awards bashes for different reasons. In 2017, UTA scrapped its Oscar party and instead held a refugee rally in support of the American Civil Liberties Union and International Rescue Committee, while the following year CAA opted to redirect money that normally would have been spent on its pre-Golden Globes party to a legal defense fund for survivors of workplace sexual harassment.